Rahway River & Trail Cleanup Adventure

This past weekend I spent my Saturday floating on the Rahway River in Cranford and hiking the South Mountain Reservation in Millburn. Little did I know much of my time I would be picking up other people’s trash.

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I have enjoyed paddling down this river for many years and it has always been in various state of cleanliness. But this time I was really surprised at the amount of man-made trash there was, so many single-use beverage bottles!

Back in 2012, Superstorm Sandy devastated Cranford and had the town flooded. The river overflowed and took various backyard items with it when it receeded. So I wasn’t too surprised when I found large items in the river, but was disappointed to think that they had been there for four years. Among the many single-use beverage bottles we picked up, the most unique items we pulled from the river was a full size garbage can (with wheels too) and a ladies black leather knee-high boot.

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Unfortunately we were unable to pull from the river what looked like a trampoline mat or pool cover because of the weight. I hope to locate that area on land and visit that park to pull it up from the shore instead of while on water.

We had a six year old with us in the canoe who got really excited about spotting the trash and helping to pull it into the canoe. He even insisted on getting a hard to reach green bottle, so we tried a couple times and managed to get it.

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Our next adventure that day was the Fairy Trail in South Mountain Reservation. It also happened to be the same trail that led us to a very kid friendly geocache (GCW4HV) too. This trail had far less trash than the river did, but there were still some single-use bottles that needed assistance in finding the recycle can. There was also a pile of glass beer bottles, we managed to carry 7 of the 10 out to be recycled. Next time I need to remember to hike with some type of bag to carry out all of the trash and recycling that I find.

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We all had a great time spending hours outside while also helping out the environment. Kids can always help too, especially when they make recycling a fun game!